World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge flew out of Kenya on Monday night for Vienna, Austria and for a potential run into history
Kipchoge is aiming to become the first person to run a marathon in under two hours.
The Ineos 1:59 Challenge organizers have now narrowed the window for Kipchoge to run to between October 12 and 14, with the target-date being this Saturday.
However, the actual event date will be confirmed on Wednesday, three days out and start time the day before the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.
INEOS 1:59 meteorology and performance experts are expected to provide weather data to Kipchoge’s coaching team and collectively make the decision as to what date and time for the race, to give Kipchoge the best possible chance of success.
One of the reasons Vienna was picked for the venue was its favorable weather conditions in October.
The Kenyan athlete shattered the world marathon record last year in Berlin, running the distance in two hours, one minute and 39 seconds in Germany.
But on Saturday on the streets of Vienna, Austria, Kipchoge will be chasing another iconic target, with his attempt, dubbed “INEOS 1:59 Challenge”, drawing global interest as the day nears.
The challenge is bankrolled by British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who runs chemical firm INEOS.
The conditions are, for now, within an acceptable range for the first weekend of the window. To ensure Kipchoge’s preparations for the challenge are flawless, Sir Jim dispatched his private jet, a Gulfstream 280, valued at $24.5 million (Sh2.4 billion) to pick him.
Kipchoge has been training in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County and in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County. He traveled in the company of seven teammates, including his coach Patrick Sang, physiotherapist Peter Nduhiu and pacemakers Augustine Choge and Gideon Kipketer.
In total, 41 pacemakers have been enlisted to support Kipchoge in his quest, among them Erick Kiptanui.
“We will be there to support Kipchoge and after traveling to Vienna to feel the course, I must say it’s a good one and he achieves his dream,” said Kiptanui at Eldoret airport Monday night.
“He has focused to achieve the 1:59 mark and we are ready to help on Saturday. He is a great man and we know history will be made,” said Victor Chumo, another pacemaker who trains with Kipchoge in Kaptagat.